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Chemistry Independent Study Gas Laws Gas Laws Since the days of Aristotle all substances have been classified into one of three physical states A substance having a fixed volume and shape is a solid A substance which has a fixed volume but not a fixed shape is a liquid liquids assume the shape of their container but do not necessarily fill it A substance having neither a fixed shape nor a fixed volume is a gas gases assume both the shape and the volume of their container The structures of gases and their behavior are simpler than the structures and behavior of the two condensed phases the solids and the liquids Pressure and the Law of Boyle Quantitative measurements on gases were first made in a rational manner by the English chemist Robert Boyle 1627 - 1691 The instruments used by Boyle to measure pressure were two the manometer which measures differences in pressure and the barometer which measures the total pressure of the atmosphere A manometer is simply a bent piece of tubing preferably glass with one end closed When the liquid level in both arms is the same the pressure of the sample of gas inside the closed end must equal the pressure of the external atmosphere since the downward force on the two columns of liquid is then equal When the liquid levels are unequal the pressures must differ The difference in pressure can be measured in units of length of the vertical column of liquid The mm Hg or its modern version the torr originated in this use of the manometer Mercury is particularly convenient for use in manometers and barometers because at room temperature it has low vapor pressure does not wet glass and has a high density Other liquids such as linseed oil or water have also been used in manometers The barometer is a device for measuring the
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